Re: escape from simulation

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Sun Mar 28 2004 - 20:50:23 MST

mike99 wrote:

> The simulation argument is actually just a contemporary version of
> Descartes', in which he considered the possibility that all the evidence of
> his senses had been implanted by a "demon." He realized that there was no
> way he could disprove that such a situation was actually the case, beyond
> simply assuming that the all-powerful God would not allow it. (Descartes was
> extremely careful not to write anything so skeptical that the Church would
> do to him what it had done to Galileo.) In the final analysis, Descartes
> concluded that the only claim he could not doubt was that he himself was
> thinking all these thoughts, hence he existed: "Cogito, ergo sum" ["I think,
> therefore I am"].

There's a very serious error, based on an assumption in Descartes
thinking, and it's promulgated widely even today. It assumes the
existence of some sort of coherent Self making the observation.
Actually, the only valid deduction to be made is that *something* exists.

This error goes right to the heart of the so-called "hard problem" of
consciousness and the confusion over the meaning of qualia, all based on
the assumption of some kind of supervisory self that exists in relation
to the observed world.

- Jef

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